The UK Blue Shield is renewing its campaign to get the UK Government to ratify the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. Professor Peter Stone OBE, Chair of the UK Blue Shield, said:
While many in the UK have reacted with indignation at the appalling destruction of ancient sites, libraries, archives, and museums in the Middle East and Africa, few seem to realise that the UK remains the only Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council not to have ratified the 1954 Hague Convention.
Ratification has cross-Party support, including support from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport; the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; the Department for Overseas Development; and the Ministry of Defence.
The UK Blue Shield needs everybody who values cultural heritage to write to their MP about this urgent matter. A draft template and a factsheet can be downloaded here and here and if anyone doesn’t know the name or contact details of their MP, that information can be obtained here.
If you are unsure of the need for Britain to ratify the 1954 Hague Convection, the Committee members request that you please watch this short three-minute film Protecting cultural property during war.
Supporters can stay up-to-date with the UK Blue Shield and its campaign by following it on Twitter and Facebook. For further information, please use our Contact Us form. Finally, to help the Committee members keep track of the campaign, it is also asked that when anyone does write to their MP, would they please let Philip know using the email address supplied above.
On Wednesday 1 July, Peter Stone chaired a closed session at Chatham House, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, at which Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO, was the speaker on ‘Culture on the Frontline: Protecting Cultural Heritage in Conflict Zones’.
The discussion was attended by senior politicians, academics, senior museum staff, Chatham House Members, and representatives of the wider heritage sector.